Joe Root’s future as England’s Test cricket captain is again in doubt after the series defeat in the West Indies.
At the third test in Grenada, England was “hammered” after another “chaotic slump” in three and a half days, it said BBC‘s cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew. The “thoroughly draining” ten-wicket loss meant Root’s team also lost the series 1-0.
England’s interim management team “heralded this as a new era, talked about a better atmosphere, but it ended up being so old, so old,” Agnew added. Without a manager, without a head coach and a “captain under siege” hanging by his fingernails, “you couldn’t help but feel the feeling of the end of an era”.
Root “very passionate” about moving the team forward
Including Ashes’ 4-0 humiliation in Australia and defeat in the Caribbean, England are now five Tests without a win. Sky Sports reported. The West Indies defeat “completes a string of results in which they have just a single Test win from their last 17 games, dating back to February 2021”.
After the Grenada game, Root said he was determined to continue as England’s Test captain but concedes the decision is out of his hands. “I made it clear early in this game and throughout this tour that I’m very passionate about trying to bring this team forward,” said Root, who has been captain since 2017. “I will control everything I can ; I don’t think it’s ever in your hands. I feel like the group is very behind me. We do a lot of really good things – we just have to turn that into results now.”
Paul Collingwood, England’s interim head coach, has backed Root to continue as skipper. “You can see that all the players, management and Joe himself have a determination to take this team forward and get results,” Collingwood said. “If I stood here and didn’t think that, then there would be a problem. The lead doesn’t affect his hitting, he’s still going out and making the runs. And he’s desperate to turn things around and make this team the best it can be – it’s as simple as that.”
Root’s captaincy is ‘unsustainable’
While Collingwood supports the skipper to stay, The timesMike Atherton, chief cricket correspondent for , believes the defeat makes Root’s captaincy “unsustainable” and “it’s time to end the deception”. Atherton, a former England captain, said it was “obvious to anyone who was in Australia, and should have been obvious to anyone who wasn’t, that Root has come to the end of the road as captain”.
The time has come for a change at the top, said former England skipper Nasser Hussain Daily Mail. England’s defeat by the West Indies “should spell the end of Joe Root’s captaincy… he’s a world-class batsman and a likeable lad, but the team needs tougher characters”.
Michael Vaughan, another former England captain, agrees Root should go. “Joe is without question the best role model England cricket has in terms of how he bats, prepares and carries,” said Vaughan The Telegraph. “But his captaincy wasn’t good enough. Tactically, he keeps missing a trick.”
Time to try Stokes?
When Root’s captaincy comes to an end, “who do you pick then?” asked former England player Jonathan Trott. “It’s really difficult,” Trott told BT Sport. “That is the conundrum England cricket is in. There’s no one really reaching out.”
With Root “hanging on Test captain by grim death,” perhaps now is the time to appoint all-rounder Ben Stokes, Will Macpherson told im London evening standard. “It’s worth wondering if Stokes, who is fiercely loyal, would agree to take on his great friend Root if he were fired. Stokes is not a perfect candidate or guaranteed to make things better. But it’s time to give him a chance.”
https://www.theweek.co.uk/news/sport/cricket/956234/england-west-indies-end-of-an-era-captain-joe-root England loses in West Indies: ‘End of an era’ for captain Joe Root?